I owe it all to ..right down
died. It was the Seventies and they were using a very unpredictable anaesthetic.
“Donald sprang into action, grabbing the dead cat and running outside. He began whirling it around, something vets and farmers do with newborn lambs to encourage them to take their first breath.
“But Donald swung the cat with too much vigour. It slipped
from his hand and shot into the garden of the Royal British Legion next door, hitting a man who let out a stream of expletives. Sadly, the cat’s flight had no effect on its breathing – it remained dead.”
In the Eighties, when All Creatures Great and Small drew 18 million viewers a week, Peter said there would be hordes of fans waiting at the surgery to get a book signed by “James Herriot”.
Peter says: “It was not unlike having a rock star in our midst, albeit one who avoided the limelight and didn’t enjoy being the centre of attention. People were coming from Japan, Australia and America. Alf, being a gentleman, didn’t want to let his fans down.
“His influence was far subtler than teaching me veterinary skills. When he took me on calls he often played classical music.
“We would drive along listening to Beethoven or Mozart. Hearing
From left: Robert Hardy, vets Donald Sinclair, James Herriot and Brian Sinclair, and Peter Davison. Robert played Siegfried (the TV version of Donald) and Peter played Tristan (Brian) on screen